Texas State Multicultural Greek Council members will have the opportunity to clap, stomp, twist and turn in the name of their chapters at the organization’s annual showcase 7 p.m. Friday at the LBJ Amphitheater.
A highlight of the event for many, which started in 2003, is when some chapter members “stroll.” Strolling functions in a similar manner as line dancing by having members of each participating chapter line up one after another to perform a choreographed routine counter-clockwise.
Diana Soria, Multicultural Greek Council president, said this line uniquely showcases each participating chapter’s members and is a way to draw the student body’s attention.
“If you have an idea of what greek life is, think again,” Soria, family and consumer sciences senior, said.
Strolling has been a long-standing tradition in some multicultural greek chapters nationwide.
The dance can trace its roots to the ring shout, a religious ritual performed by enslaved Africans brought to America.
In the 1980s, when many Latino-based fraternities and sororities were established nationwide, the dance became adopted by multicultural greek organizations as a way for chapters to best represent and express themselves.
Some Texas State Multicultural Greek Council chapters incorporate strolling into their weeks-long recruitment process.
Soria said the recruitment process for Multicultural Greek Council chapters, called “being underground,” can be as traditional and secretive as Texas State panhellenic and interfraternity council chapters.
After her time being underground, she was finally shown the light. She said she became a member of Sigma Delta Lambda sorority two years ago, after transferring from Sam Houston State University, because it provided her with the support system she needed as a first generation college student.
“I fell into it. I came to school not knowing what a sorority was,” she said. “Well, I had an idea, but it was nothing that I wanted to be a part of.”
After visiting the Texas State Multicultural Greek Council website, Soria said Sigma Delta Lambda’s history as the first Latina-based sorority on campus and mission drew her to the chapter.
The first Sigma Delta Lambda chapter was founded at Texas State, formerly Southwest Texas State University, in 1996.
“They wanted something to help them feel like they weren’t second class—I don’t know how else to word it,” Soria said. “They wanted to have their voice heard.”
Sigma Delta Lambda has grown to include chapters at the University of Texas, Texas A&M International University, Texas Lutheran University, University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University.
In fall 1999, Sigma Delta Lambda joined together with Kappa Delta Chi, Sigma Lambda Beta and Sigma Lambda Gamma to establish the Multicultural Greek Council.
Multicultural Greek Council is the umbrella organization of six predominantly Hispanic-based sororities and fraternities, with an approximate total membership of 140 students.
The organization’s purpose is to meet the individual and joint needs of each chapter, to voice chapter concerns and to ensure chapters work cohesively.
Jessica Garcia, Alpha Psi Lambda National southern regional director, said multicultural greek organizations promote a familia aspect that not many organizations can.
She joined the small Texas State Chapter of Alpha Psi Lambda in 2007 in an effort to gain confidence.
More than one year after graduating from Texas State, Garcia returns with the help of other organization alumni to promote the on-campus reinstatement of the co-educational fraternity.
“Having a co-ed membership also allows us to prepare for the ‘real world’ as both men and women work together to achieve a common goal,” Garcia said.
Garcia said the chapter was removed from campus because of academics. She said for the chapter to be reinstated it must have a minimum of six members, who will be the new founding line.